Thursday, June 22, 2006
Since being exposed to Daniel Quinn’s concept of leavers and takers with my first reading of Ishmael I have been increasingly aware of the possibility that that ancient transitional period — when man no longer had to be respectfully aware of his relationship to the nature of his nurturing habitat because agriculture and its dependent, artificially large communities allowed generations to develop the manipulative antagonism to nature that characterizes the taker mentality — is experienced by every human child born into this oblivious Mother Culture as an institutional checkoff, like circumcision. It is a period between leaver and taker I have come to call swallower, ala foie gras, when the child is force fed Mother Culture until those “difficult teens” when the institution rewards the swallowers with official membership in the paté of spoiled living and relegates the rebukers to the heretical outlands where their influence is influenced by media filters if they are at all disruptive. Every taker parent foists Mother Culture on their newborn leaver child whether they mean to or not. Some have made giant leaps in leaving their little leavers alone. I have friends who live in the woods, carry their water from the river, and have a seven year-old daughter who took me for an enlightening tour of her world as might an Amazonian native. There’s a leaver buried in us all. We must meditate on this until our change is more than intellectual in order to rescue future generations of leavers from the neck vice with which Mother Culture holds them still.